Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park, May 2004.

How Lansdowne Park’s Aberdeen Pavilion nearly ended up in Stittsville

Bruce Firestone, the original owner and founder of the Ottawa Senators, wrote on his blog this week about how he once tried to move the Aberdeen Pavilion from Lansdowne Park to the site of what’s now Canadian Tire Centre in Stittsville:

I nearly got another one–the Cattle Castle (aka, the Aberdeen Pavilion) in downtown Ottawa. In 1991, it looked like this–

Photo via Bruce Firestone
Photo via Bruce Firestone

The city council of the day voted to demolish it at a cost of $350,000. I loved the late 19th century building, and we were getting ready to build the CTC (Canadian Tire Centre, called the Palladium at the time). So I called then mayor Jacquelin  Holzman and offered to save the city of Ottawa $350,000. Instead, we would take it down and move it to Kanata where we would rebuild it next to our new building.

How cool would it be to have nearly an acre of classic column-free exhibition space sitting next to/connected to the Palladium? The contrast between old and new architecture would have been awesome.

Councillors thinking that a developer was perhaps trying to take advantage of the situation reversed course two weeks later and voted to spend $5.5 million fixing it up. The contractor who took on the job of refurbishing the Cattle Castle (Aberdeen’s nickname) went broke during the job, which turned out to be much more difficult than he expected. Oh well.

Firestone is working on a book about the team’s founding and early days, and he’s launched a crowdfunding campaign to help raise money to publish it.

Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park, May 2004.
Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park, May 2004.

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